Monday, September 8, 2008

Parents' Assignment

Deborah's teacher requested that all the parents of her students write something telling about their forth grade experiences. Here's mine:

Grade 4 Memories from Deborah’s Mom


The year was 1976 and it was a special year in the United States where I grew up. It was the Bicentennial Year. That means it was the United States' 200th Birthday. In a way, the celebration lasted all year long.

One of the teachers in my school drove a white truck with red and blue stars on it. "Spirit of '76" was painted on the side. It was cool to wear red, white and blue clothes. My mom made me a white dress with red stripes and blue stars. I also had a blouse that had a bunch of US flags on it. (Actually my brother, sisters, and I had matching shirts). I had another shirt that had US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and US Marines written all over it. Now I think of those shirts and cringe. Then I thought I was so cool.

My Grade 4 teacher was Mrs. Barrow. She was old and her hair was perfectly silver. Every day she wore either gold or silver sparkly shoes. Maybe my patriotic clothes sound weird to you, but her sparkly metallic shoes were weird to me.

After lunch recess, she'd always read us a Bible story. Then we'd have to put our heads on our desks for "a rest." Poor Mrs. Barrow always fell asleep and we'd whisper and pass notes. We loved it when she fell asleep.

At recess we played basketball, football and chase. We had one set of monkey bars and a slide. That was all the playground equipment we had.

One day a big dog came to the playground and played chase with us. We had so much fun. A mean kid who was standing beside me pulled the dog's tail really hard. The dog thought it was me and turned and bit me on the hip. I loved dogs and didn't want to get the dog in trouble. My hip bled, but I wasn't scared. The teachers acted like something terrible had happened. They even phoned my parents. The owners had to come to the school to prove the dog had its rabies shot.

I was a good student, but you won’t believe it when I tell you this story. Once when we had a spelling bee I drew a blank when the teacher asked me to spell "use." A three-lettered word and I couldn't spell it. I was very embarrassed.

I remember learning how the earth moves around the sun. We had a substitute teacher and she brought one of those large outdoor candles that people use to decorate their yards at Christmas time. She plugged it in and we pretended it was the sun. She took a basketball, which we pretended was the earth, and she slowly walked the ball around the sun. That visual lesson helped me all through school to remember that the earth moves around the sun and not the other way around.

The most horrible thing that happened in grade 4 was when a boy in grade 6 tried to kiss me. I cried and cried. I was very afraid of him.

Other than the bully who tried to kiss me, Grade 4 was a good time. I hope your Grade 4 is great and no bullies try to kiss you. If one does, slug him or her and say, "That's from Mrs. Dykstra."

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